On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a 911 call, an ambulance and 9 hours in the ER

Sissy finally has a bed on the psych ward, 72 hour minimum. Don't know yet what her pdoc and therapists will say - they may suggest RTC again.

She had a bag packed and hidden. I found it in my random bed check for objects she might hurt herself with. And there it was, packed and hidden under the blankets she tossed over it claiming "I made my bed mom!" The bag was packed like she was headed somewhere. I called her on it, asked if she was intending on running away and she went to full rage escalation in 3 seconds flat. She became threatening to herself, The Dad and her siblings. I grabbed the phone and dialed 911 and she left in an ambulance.

I made my way down to the children's medical center in one piece and then cussed out loud as I put the van in park in the parking garage because it dawned on me that I made it all the way to the children's parking deck without even thinking. Read: I can easily find my way, as in, WTF?!?! One of my many talents as a parent is I can find my way to the parking deck of the children's medical center with my eyes closed?!?! Yeah. There's something I wanted on my parenting resume. "NOT COOL!" i shouted at God. "SO NOT COOL!"

All the crazies were out so it took from 5:30 until 10:30 before the third year resident took our information and then it took until 12:00 for the attending fellow to agree with the resident's findings that Sissy needed to be admitted. And then it took until 1 am for the orderly to escort her up to the ninth floor in the only wheel chair he could find - the bariatric chair.

When the doctor said to Sissy, "Is it OK with you that you stay for a few days?" She said without flinching and with a lilt as she swung her legs off the end of the exam table, "Well, as long as I'm home for Christmas. I had to miss Christmas and my birthday last year and I don't want to do that again. They didn't give me any presents blah blah blah ...[1]"

He left the room and Sissy hopped down and said, "well mom, you got what you wanted, I'll be out of your hair for a few days and you won't have to listen to me scream at least for those few days while I'm here."

And I pretended that wasn't an arrow straight through my heart and said without flinching, "Sissy, I'm really hoping you'll take this time to learn how NOT to scream so when you come home, you won't start doing it again."

And then i decided to change the subject to play it safe. I said, "Sissy, you say you don't want to hurt yourself. So that means you expect to be a grown up some day, right?" She agreed. "Ok, let's play a game. Close your eyes. Make a picture in your mind of what you look like when you're a grown up." Then I proceeded to ask her questions about her appearance, her clothing, her jewelry and hair, her job, her activities, her friends, etc.

This is the summation of what she told me while we waited for the orderly and this is what has me wrecked, just flat out totalled. These are her words, imagery, all of it. None of this is my embellishment.

Sissy imagines she'll be a grown up at 18. She will have pencil cut, skin tight pants in blue. She will have a white sleeveless top, big breasts, a tiny waist and round hips. She will wear high heeled shoes, crystal jewelry, carry a hot pink fake leopard skin purse and be a dyed blond. She will hang out with all the boys and maybe go out to restaurants with all of them so she can decide which one she wants. She will have friends and they will tell her she is nice and that she doesn't scream. They will know that she is nice even on the inside. She will be an artist and color pictures for a job.

When I asked her if she intended to wear her street clothes to work she gruffly replied that she would wear blue jeans if they let her or just a work uniform.

By Sissy's description, she intends to be a whore. But I didn't point that out to her. What would be the sense? She would never see it that way. And there's the rub. Because she can't call a spade a spade or see truth for what it is, she will not be capable of wrapping her brain around the truth that she is the product of her own design. No matter what I do, no matter how much I invest, no matter how hard I try to help her see the value of changing, she will be a user, an abuser, she'll be promiscuous and get pregnant. There is no other reality.

And even as they were escorting her to the psych ward and she was happy as a clam, giddy and talking up a storm like it was nothing at all to be admitted in a locked ward of the ninth floor of a hospital, she still refused to admit that she packed a bag with the intent of ... leaving. whether running away or she purposely planned to act out significantly enough to land her butt in the hospital, either way, she chose it and refused to admit the truth. [2]

Yes, I have lost my Hope, both literally and figuratively. And now that I've eaten my grits and stopped crying about the reality that it doesn't matter what I do, Sissy's future reality is bleak, I will go to bed.

[1]UGH! SERIOUSLY!? The kid friggin' got more gifts than AB and WG because we bought her gifts and then the RTC blitzkrieged the kids with a bajillion gifts from various local charities!

[2]I gave her the out while we waited for hours. I told her straight, "Sissy, either you packed that bag because you were out of your mind and had no clue what you were doing or the voices in your head told you to, OR you intended to run away. If you give me some other explanation, I will back down. But if you can not tell me truthfully why that bag was packed, i WILL tell the doctor that you are planning to run away or that you've lost your mind." And Sissy's hard and fast response was "I don't know why" and my hard and fast reply was, "then you've made your choice already. Because out of your mind or running away, both have bought you a bed upstairs." Bottom line? She WANTED to be in the hospital.


Lisa said...

My son loves the hospital. He's only been there once (supposed to have been 3-5 days, ended up being 17 and I'm sure he manipulated his way into staying longer cause he loved it so much), but it left an impression. For a long time after he came home, he begged to go back. See, there are no chores at the hospital, he can stay up late watching tv shows we won't let him watch or movies that are wildly inappropriate for him. He "wins" entire bags of candy playing bingo and can eat the entire thing in 10 min. if he chooses (and YES he chooses to). Sure there's pesky visits from the dr. that he completely blows off and they require showering to earn tokens (but nobody actually supervises showers so he just gets wet and gets out). The best part though, if that there is no connection to anyone - and that's the way he likes it. He gets stuff with very little or no effort from strangers that are his new best friends. He can act up like crazy all day and then new people come in for a shift change and he can choose how he'll behave for the next group of strangers.

My 17 yo daughter is going to be a whore too. It sounds so callous to write this, but ultimately, it's all there. She envisions herself wearing skin-tight clothes, the highest heels she can find and being a chef. She'll have 5 kids and support them by working as a chef. She will NEVER restrain one of her children if they're trying to hurt another - this was screamed in my face yesterday morning as I restrained her (go figure) and she will never be the witchy mother I am. In fact, I am NOT her mother anymore and she's screaming child abuse because she got her neck scratched in the restraint. I got a bruise on my arm, fingernail prints on my hand and have a chunk of skin missing where her tooth sunk in to my hand, but hey, my fault - right? I asked her yesterday whether she considers herself a child or an adult (she'll be 18 in April), because she can't have it both ways. No answer.

Here's hoping you get a few days "rest", at least from the screaming :) Sometimes I wonder who we will be when they're grown and gone. Will be have uncontrollable twitching? Will we duck when we hear loud noises? Break into tears when we see "normal" mothers & daughters lunching or shopping together? Heck, I do all that now, I just wonder how long it will last or if I'll ever feel normal again.

GB's Mom said...

Sorry your day sucked! At least you will be able to hear yourself think in the quiet. {{{Hugs}}}

Meg said...

Oh! I'm so relieved for you and her. She is safe now and where she needs to be. Everything she was saying sounds exactly like a very manic child (and I know she has RAD as well only making it all the more complicated but minus the RAD, completely attached manic kids sound and act just like she is). As for you, I know it's so hard to do but I would try not feel one bit of guilt. You need to detach some and take care of yourself. You have 2 other kids that need you and love you and Sissy is where she needs to be. Take care of yourself. My son was very happy too when he went into the phosp because he was high as a kite manic and knew he was out of control and was relieved to be in a safe environment where he would not be disappointing me constantly or constantly in trouble. It's a relief to them as well. Also, if you are not in a CABF online support group, I would join one. It's free.

Bren said...

((((hugs)))) My heart is breaking for you. My spirit is praying for you. My mind is angered for you.

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

So sorry for her . . . and all of you . . . but relieved that at least you get a short respite. Praying you will figure out what to do long-term. . . and her description of herself at 18 is so sad and I agree with you. . . totally worrisome . . . Praying that the Love of God will grasp hold of her heart, and change it, along with some kind of a break-through with the medical needs.

Bee Burg said...

I'm so sorry! :-( I wish you could take a break from it all. Hugs and prayers. <3

kisekileia said...

Would it be considered medically ethical for you to put Sissy on birth control as soon as she starts menstruating?

J. said...

oh hang in there Mama, I hope that today brings some calm and some answers about what might come next

Cyndi said...

They use and use and then do it some more. I have no answers, but I am sure going to be praying for peace for all of you, you deserve it. It sure is hard not to let them get to you.

marythemom said...

(((((((((((((((((((Integrity Singer))))))))))))))))

Why does it take so freakin' long to get a child checked in to a psych hospital?! Every time we go it takes 6-8 hours. It's soooo wrong!

We called the hospital Club Med., and my daughter absolutely loved it... the first time. The second time was a different mix of kids and she was apparently scared of a couple of them.

My kids are "Charming" RAD so we have a tough time keeping them in treatment centers because they present so well (plus they're away from us, the evil parents, so what's not to like?!).

I think you are absolutely right that she wanted to go to the hospital, so you go right ahead and enjoy any break you get (although between meetings/therapy, visiting hours, phone calls and bringing stuff to the child... sometimes it seemed like we spent MORE time rather than less.

I hope that you are able to break through Sissy's image of herself and plans for her life, but if not, please remember that you didn't do this to her! It's like CPR. If it works and you are able to save the person then Great!, but if it doesn't work and the person dies, or lives, but has serious injuries from the CPR like broken ribs... it is not your fault! CPR is done only on someone who is DEAD!

You did not do this to Sissy, all you can do is try to help, but if that fails it is not your fault either. No matter what, I believe she is better off with you than she was.

Hugs and prayers,
Mary in TX